Diaper Rash: Causes, Prevention, Symptoms and Care

Diaper rash is an irritation to the skin that is especially common in babies, and it is a common disease. In the United States, it affects up to 35 percent of children under the age of two. Most children suffer at least once before going to the toilet.Also known as diaper dermatitis, diaper dermatitis causes unpleasant burning and redness in areas of the skin that come in contact with and rub against a diaper.

What causes diaper rash?

Diaper rash occurs when someone sits too long in a dirty diaper. Diarrhea can make the problem worse. Sometimes a child first experiences diaper rash when starting fixed food or taking antibiotics. Breastfed children can develop diarrhea based on what is passed down through their mother's diet. Babies soils diapers every three to four hours, so it is important to keep them changed. The acid nature of human waste makes bacteria and yeast thrive. All these elements can irritate the skin.Sometimes diapers that are too tight or not fit properly cause chafing. Detergent chemicals or other products that affect the baby's skin, including the diapers themselves, can cause irritation.

Who is at risk for diaper rash?

As many as a third of children develop diaper dermatitis. Breastfeeding Babies are at a lower risk because they have less acid in their diet. All infants and toddlers who wear diapers may develop diaper rash. Usually diaper rash will not be a problem until the age of three weeks. The risk is highest for babies between three months and one year old. Occasionally diaper rash is passed from toddler to toddler.

What are the symptoms of diaper rash?

Diaper rash causes the skin to feel warm, look red and irritated.  Parents and caregivers should consult a doctor if a light red diaper rash persists for more than 48 hours or is accompanied by a strong smell of urine, which may indicate dehydration.Other times to seek medical help include when rashes blister or become weepy or when the baby develops fever.

How is diaper rash diagnosed?

Diaper rash is common. Most people who look after children know when they see it. Sometimes it is still a good idea to call a doctor who will provide you with a prescription based on prescriptions and other baby items.Diaper rashes caused by yeast infections sometimes occur when a baby takes antibiotics. These types of rashes will not get better without medically prescribed ointment. When talking to your doctor, be prepared to discuss brands of diapers, lotions, cleansers, and other household items your baby comes into contact with.

Treatments for diaper rash

A 2012 study published in the Scientific World Journal suggests that herbal derivative creams, including aloe and calendula, help combat diaper rash . Calendula in particular fights inflammation and bacteria, two of the biggest problems with diaper rash.Topical creams and ointments are commonly used to treat diaper dermatitis. They include:
  1. Hydrocortisone to reduce the swelling
  2. antifungal or antibiotic creams against infections (a doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics)
  3. zinc oxide
Creams and ointments with steroids should only be taken on medical advice.

Home care

It is usually easy to treat occasional seizures of diaper rash with over-the-counter medicines and smart practices at home. The best prevention is also the best cure that is frequent diaper changes. Make sure that your child's diapers are correct and not too tight. The diaper should let air into sensitive areas. Try to let the baby go without nappies while you're napping. Do not use a lot of soap or cloths with alcohol or perfume. These can lead to dehydration, which can aggravate the symptoms.
Do not use talcum powder. It can be harmful to babies when inhaled. Keep diapers loose. Think about whether your child gets along as often as possible without diapers.
Keep zinc oxide and Vaseline handy as an important home remedies in the fight against diaper rash.

Diaper rash can lead to fussy, miserable babies. 

It is usually avoidable if you follow these tips: Wash your baby's buttocks with water every time you change nappies. Pat dry with a soft towel. Do not use cloths containing alcohol or perfume.

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